Microsoft Office 2016 to be released on September 22
Microsoft has officially revealed the release date for Office 2016.
The productivity suite was launched in March as a preview form for Developers.
A couple of months later, Office Preview for Windows, was released back in May for members of the Windows Insider Program. Office 2016 brings a slew of new features such as a real-time presence in Word called Collaboration, which allows multiple users to write and edit simultaneously (co-authoring). Excel has several new charts like: Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst.
A new addition to Office apps is Insights, a contextual information service powered by Bing, which provides relevant information from the web for keywords you query for. Another new tool is Tell Me, which takes in inputted text commands and displays search results for functions which you can execute.
Excel has gained the ability to convert handwritten equations in to an editable format. Office 2016 also has adaptive learning tools called Smart Applications, which will learn from your usage pattern to assist you. Outlook’s Clutter, mutes unimportant emails by putting them in a folder, and only displays important emails in your inbox. Data analysis tools such as Power Query and Power Pivot help in gathering data/build data models.
A noteworthy change in Office 2016, is that the Office 365 subscribers will be serviced similarly to how Windows 10 gets updates. There are two branches for Office 2016 updates.
- Current Branch: This one gets updates as and when they are released, allowing the user to have the latest versions of Office apps and features at their disposal.
- Current Branch for Business: This branch gets delayed updates, allowing for better customisation. Users or admins will be able to install feature updates a few months after the updates were rolled out.
These branches will be launched on the same date when Office 2016 is released.
Back in July, Microsoft announced the Office for Mac version. In my write up about that, I had mentioned that the app suite would only be available for purchase in September. I also predicted that this was because the Office 2016 for Windows version could be released in the same time period. I wasn’t wrong, as Microsoft Office 2016 has been scheduled to be released on September 22.
This also applies to Office 365, the subscription based service, which is preferred by companies/businesses. If you want to use Office for school/work I’d recommend getting Office 2016 instead, or if it is too pricey you could snag an older version of Microsoft Office from a retail store.
Volume License users will be able to download the suite from the official servers on October 1. And subscribers of the Office 365 Personal, and Home users, can install the Office 2016 apps from Office.com, from September 22nd.